Re: List of political leaders with sustainable devlpmnt agenda
Thanks for the response. You have no need to apologize for getting
on the political soapbox. On the contrary, I believe more of us
should get on the political soapbox, because as pointed out by Alex
Marshall in "How Cities Work: The Roads Not Taken" auto-dependence
development (all development actually) is a result of political
decisions made. To change direction requires political action.
I confess I hadn't done any more research on John Kerry, other than
what was conveniently available in the media, so I checked your
recommended website and agree with you he has a much better position
than George Bush. His energy policies aren't overwhelming, but he
really caught my interest with his sustainable growth views. To my
knowledge, which may not be a strong endorsement, he's the most
influential US political leader today who understands and is willing
to state building bigger and better roads to move more people to and
from the suburbs is a PROBLEM (rather than a benefit), and a problem
created in part by the federal government.
No doubt his policies could be more aggressive to reduce auto-
dependence, but there's certainly hope. Christopher Miller's
suggestion to provide feedback to the Kerry campaign is excellent.
It provides two immediate benefits. First, it lets him know there
are ways to strengthen his stance on certain critical issues, and
points out he needs to tackle auto-dependence more than he needs to
tackle oil-dependence. Second, and maybe more importantly, it lets
him know there are people who support policies to reduce driving and
improve sustainable growth. He probably won't get much support from
the media and public at large on these issues, they are somewhat of
a gamble. So, groups such as ours must let him know he's got
One last benefit of this discussion: There are undoubtly others
with an interest to improve city life who may not be doing they're
homework on the candidates or even what changes are needed to
improve city life. Spreading the word about a national leader who
could deliver a less auto-dependent US is important, and something
we should do from this list.
Can we put together a letter from this list to the Kerry campaign
showing our support for his best policies and recommending
improvements to some of his other policies?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick McDonough
> You should look up Earl Blumenauer (sp?) from Portland, Oregon.
> not surprising that a strong pro-transit politician has emergedthere,
> but his influence has been extremely beneficial locally insecuring the
> improvements in the non-car infrastructure that Portland has. I'mnot
> aware of anyone else (at least in the U.S.) who promotes rail forthe
> reasons Blumenauer does, instead of the usualprogress/jobs/economic
> development rationale.Kerry
> Finally, your joke about J.H. aside, despite the lack of demand
> reduction strategies for oil among major party candidates, John
> has supported increases in fuel economy regularly throughout hiscareer
> and is from a city/state that uses transit and walks more thanmost in
> the U.S. Kerry also has one of the best environmental votingrecords in
> the Senate. To suggest that there would not be an improvementunder
> Kerry in terms of progress towards the goals sought by carfreecity
> supporters- is naive. Please see
> http://www.johnkerry.com/issues/energy/, and then contrast his
> proposals with those of a failed Texas oilman whose energy policy
> revolves around tax breaks to oil and drilling in ANWR.
> My apologies to the list for getting on the political soapbox here.